Should You Remove a Popcorn Ceiling?

If you or someone you know has an older home, there’s a chance that you’ve come across a popcorn ceiling. It is also known as a textured or acoustic ceiling. A popcorn ceiling is a type of ceiling treatment that features a rough, bumpy texture, resembling popcorn or cottage cheese. It was among the most popular ceiling designs back in the mid-20th century. A lot of people back then liked it as it can hide imperfections, absorb sound, and provide insulation.

However, in recent years, popcorn ceilings have become less desirable for homeowners. In fact, a lot of homeowners are deciding to remove them for different reasons. If you are one of those who have popcorn ceilings at home and are thinking of whether or not you should remove them, you’re in the right place. In this article, we are going to provide you with some of the factors involved in deciding whether to remove a popcorn ceiling or keep it as-is. By learning about these factors, you’ll be able to make an informed decision based on your preferences and specific circumstances.

Pros of Removing a Popcorn Ceiling

popcorn ceiling removal

Removing a popcorn ceiling can provide you with many benefits, such as in terms of aesthetics, health, lighting, cleanliness, and resale value. Read on below to learn more about the pros of removing a popcorn ceiling:


In the past, popcorn ceilings are very popular. However, at the present time, they are considered outdated and less visually appealing. The texture of popcorn ceilings can provide a room a dated or retro look that may not align with modern interior design preferences. Therefore, when you remove a popcorn ceiling, it can provide your room with a more contemporary and updated look. It also allows for more design flexibility and can complement different décor styles. But if you do not want your room or space to look modern, or if you are aiming for a classic look, keeping your popcorn ceiling can be a good idea.

Health Concerns

Older popcorn ceilings, particularly those installed before the late 1970s, may contain asbestos. It is a hazardous material that can cause serious health issues when its fibers are inhaled. Therefore, if your home was built before this period, it is important to have your ceiling tested for asbestos before you attempt any removal. This will ensure your safety during the removal process. In case asbestos is detected, you may need to hire trained professionals in asbestos abatement to handle the removal safely and correctly.

Maintenance and Cleanliness

When it comes to cleaning, popcorn ceilings are very challenging to clean and maintain as dust tends to accumulate on them. The textured surface makes it more difficult to remove dirt and cobwebs compared to smooth or flat ceilings. Also, people who have allergies or respiratory sensitivities may find popcorn ceilings problematic because of the possible buildup of allergens. Therefore, removing your popcorn ceiling may be beneficial in improving the indoor air quality in your home and reducing potential triggers for allergies.

Lighting and Ambiance

One of the cons of having popcorn ceilings is that they can create shadows and make a room feel darker or smaller. The uneven surface of a popcorn ceiling scatters light, which reduces the overall brightness and creates a less desirable ambiance. Therefore, if you want to achieve better lighting in your home and make it a brighter space, removing your popcorn ceiling is a good idea. Removing the popcorn texture allows for a smoother ceiling surface, enhancing the reflection and distribution of light. This will also result in a more spacious, well-lit, and inviting atmosphere.

Resale Value

At the present time, many people who are looking to buy a house are searching for homes with smooth, untextured ceilings. It’s because these ceilings are usually associated with a more modern and high-end aesthetic. Thus, removing a popcorn ceiling and replacing it with a smooth finish can make your property more attractive to potential buyers. In addition to that, the perceived value of your home may also increase, potentially leading to a higher resale value.

Cons of Removing a Popcorn Ceiling

removal process of popcorn ceiling

While there are a lot of pros when it comes to removing popcorn ceilings, there are also drawbacks to doing it. If you are curious about these, below are the cons of removing a popcorn ceiling:

Labor-Intensive Process

Removing a popcorn ceiling can take a lot of time, and it is also a physically demanding task. It usually involves scraping, patching, and refinishing the surface of the ceiling, which needs effort and attention to detail. In order to remove the popcorn texture, you have to scrape the surface and ensure a smooth finish. Patching may also be needed to repair any damage or imperfections caused during the removal process. Also, refinishing the surface of the ceiling with paint or other finishes may be needed in order to achieve your desired result.

Messiness and Necessary Precautions

Removing a popcorn ceiling also creates a significant amount of dust and debris. There are proper precautions that you need to follow in order to protect your furniture pieces, flooring, and personal health during the removal process. While DIY removal is an option, you also have to ensure that you have the right skills, tools, and willingness to take on the task.


The cost of popcorn ceiling removal varies depending on different factors. These include the size of the area and whether or not asbestos is present. It is safer to hire professionals if you plan to remove a popcorn ceiling as they can ensure a more efficient and higher-quality result, particularly for larger or more complex areas. However, you should also expect it to cost more. Therefore, assess your budget first and determine if you are willing to invest in the popcorn ceiling removal process.


Deciding to remove a popcorn ceiling should be based on careful consideration of the different factors that we mentioned in this article. Popcorn ceilings are usually considered outdated, and removing them can provide a space with a more modern and clean appearance. But you also have to note that popcorn ceilings can be labor-intensive, time-consuming, messy, and potentially hazardous, in case asbestos is detected. While you can choose to DIY its removal, it is safer and better to have professionals take care of the job if ever you decide to remove a popcorn ceiling. We hope this article helped you in deciding if you should remove your popcorn ceiling.